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Painting - Mandala


  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    China (made)

  • Date:

    1479 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ink and colours on silk

  • Credit Line:

    A.E. Anderson

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This is a mandala or meditational diagram. Darkened by smoke from incense burned in its former temple setting, this mandala is of a style that owes much to Tibetan (and through them, Nepalese) styles of Buddhist iconography. It may have been made by a temple monk. Tibetan and Nepalese monks living in Beijing under imperial patronage influenced Chinese Buddhist art from the time of the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368) established by Kublai Khan (1215-1294). The fierce deities depicted are powerful protectors of Buddhism, brandishing a variety of weapons and trampling triumphantly on prone demons. An inscription at the bottom of the scroll dates it to the 15th year of the Chenghua emperor, equivalent to 1479. It was almost certainly acquired from a temple in the north-west of Beijing, founded under Kublai Khan and known in the Ming period as the Da Long shan hu guo si ('Temple of Great and Mighty Benevolence that Protects the Dynasty'). Throughout the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), this temple was a centre for Tibetan Buddhist teaching, and it served as a lodging for many eminent monks.

Physical description

Painted colours on silk showing forty two fierce-looking Buddhist deities, flourishing weapons as they trample upon demons underfoot.

Place of Origin

China (made)


1479 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Ink and colours on silk


Height: 151 cm, Length: 99.1 cm

Descriptive line

Buddhist painted scroll, dated 1479, Chenghua reign period, Ming dynasty, Chinese.




East Asia Collection

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